Where’s that $450,000 worth of driving going toward?

(1/28/13) – IE Transit Talking Points Short

Several members of the public were disappointed to hear that state officials from both houses of the legislature denied requests by the The Sacramento Bee of reimbursement details in the vehicle mileage logbooks for state lawmakers. Those logbooks detail how state government elected officials received $450,000 in mileage reimbursements in a single year. At a reimbursement rate of 53 cents per mile, that adds up to more than 849,000 miles driven on the taxpayer dime. 

To be fair, many lawmakers have big districts to travel around and the logbooks contain specific residential street addresses of which should certainly not be published to protect the officials. However, by refusing to disclose any information, the state government leaves open the speculation and possibility that some politicians might be abusing our taxpayer money. If a lawmaker travels to a private event such as a campaign fundraiser or leisure trip, we must not be footing the gas mileage bill. Such activity must be uncovered. The legislative leaders should release the reimbursement details from the logbooks while keeping the addresses confidential.